Sunderland travelled to West Brom this afternoon, where they lost 2-0 to a revitalised Tony Pulis side. This defeat is David Moyes’ ninth on the road this season, and arguably one of the poorest displays all season.
Moyes made three changes from the side who were beaten 2-0 away to Burnley in the cup earlier in the week. Jermain Defoe, John O’shea and Jack Rodwell all came into the team. The result makes for bleak reading once again, but how were the individual performances throughout the game?
Goalkeeper and defence
Vito Mannone – 5 - The Italian has been poor since returning in between the sticks after youngster Jordan Pickford was side-lined for two months, but today he performed better than he has in recent weeks. Mannone made a couple of good saves, but did let two goals into his net. He should have held the cross that came in which led to the second goal, but both finishes would have surpassed any Premier League goalkeeper.
Billy Jones – 4 - Poor performance once again from Jones. The former West Brom full back failed to do the basics and was caught out down the wing a lot when going forward. Jones does always put the effort in, but seems to lack the real quality required to be a modern day full back.
Jason Denayer – 4 - Awful first half, but improved in the second. The Belgian has been another player who has been poor in recent weeks, but made some critical interceptions in the second half which could’ve led to more than two goals being shipped.
John O’shea – 4 - Handled Salamon Rondon well in the air, but simply doesn’t have the legs to catch most strikers in the Premier League. Seems to get caught out too often when partnered with Papy Djilobodji.
Papy Djilobodji – 3 - Persistent in his long balls forward towards Defoe which frustrates fans and releases pressure on any potential attacks. Not currently warranting his £8m price tag, looks more like a Championship player and may need another season to bed in.
Patrick Van Aanholt – 2 - Awful. Caught out way too often by Matt Phillips. Constantly seems lackadaisical and never shows interest, which disappoints and frustrates Sunderland fans. Good going forward on his day but defending is the priority, especially away from home.
Midfield and attack
Sebastian Larsson – 4 - Another player who struggles to keep up with the pace of the game. Does always show heart and passion but Sunderland need more than that if they wish to stay in the Premier League.
Jack Rodwell – 5 - Did okay but lacks any composure on the ball. His run without a win when starting continues and that is clearly affecting his confidence, as much as he may say otherwise.
George Honeyman – 5 - Fans have been crying out for youngsters to be given a chance and maybe experience is the only answer in Sunderland’s current state. Honeyman tried his hardest but his lack of experience shone through on this day.
Adnan Januzaj – 3 - Continues to be lazy when defending and does not suit the way Moyes sets his team up. Clearly has flair but may be more suited to a foreign league where the tempo and physicality isn’t as high. Set pieces are horrendous.
Jermain Defoe – 5 - No service for Defoe once again, but his ball retention was very poor. Looked totally disheartened throughout the game, but you can’t exactly blame him.
Victor Anichebe – 5 - Anichebe came on for Januzaj just after the hour mark and made very little impression when he came on. Only just returning from injury may be why he struggled to get into the game.
Fabio Borini – 4 - Another who didn’t impress when he came off the bench and lacked desire. Ever since he returned from Injury at the end of last year he has come under criticism and Moyes clearly thought it was time for him to start on the bench for today’s game.
Sunderland now have over a week to re-group and will play Tottenham at the Stadium of Light on January 31.